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How many morons drive an 18-wheeler down a busy highway and tap out a text message at the same time? The answer: enough to prompt a federal ban on the practice.
And it’s not just truck drivers who are now officially prohibited from texting while driving. Bus drivers are also included in the ban, recently announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
When does the ban take effect? Immediately.
Nobody on LaHood’s team apparently believed the measure needed comment, feedback or even a waiting period.
This new ban follows a similar one in December for drivers of federal government vehicles.
“We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe,” LaHood said. “This is an important safety step and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.”
The consequences are costly. Bus or truck drivers caught texting while driving face fines of up to $2,750.
The National Safety Council, a research and advocacy group, estimates that 200,000 crashes of all types on U.S. roads are caused by drivers who are texting.
Almost two dozen U.S. states ban texting while driving for all motor vehicles and others are considering similar action. Legislation has also been introduced in Congress to prohibit the practice.
Many U.S. companies also ban texting by their employees while driving on the job.
The ban against federal employees texting while driving also carried the caveat that anyone who does business with the government as a contractor is also supposed to obey the rule.
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